HP my have been the two-character brand you were parking in your distant memory of star desktops of the digital past but their presence among cubicle-goers and at-home workers who need to print out is solid. Now HP is in the printer news with a machine that is designed to work primarily with mobile devices. Observers consider the printer as a re-invention of the printer concept, at least in design.
How about a very fashionable slab in the printer department, covered by fabric, with voice printing support? Let’s Tango. The name of the printer is Tango.
Interestingly, with all its convenient and easy features, one would think tech watchers would add the design information as a postscript. Not so for Tango. For example, Alex Cranz in Gizmodo said, ok, it has “neat” features not commonly available on an inkjet printer. “But neater is this printer actually looks attractive when it’s all closed up and sitting in my office area, as it will be about 90-per cent of its life.”
William Harrel in PCMag affirmed how the design was crafted to consumer tastes.
“According to HP’s research, most home and apartment dwellers don’t want an unsightly printer mucking up the décor. The wrap does hide the printer attractively and, when open, provides a nice cloth runway on which printed pages can land.”
Brian Heater in TechCrunch also paid attention to its looks.
“The printer features a fabric cover that makes the look like an anonymous book—well, more of a tome, really—when faced out.”
Heater assessed its look as “squat and curvy and fairly minimalist.”
The cover comes in three colors, he added. This attention to minimalist design is right on the mark, for HP’s sales goals, as positioned as adding item decor to the home. The use of soft materials, for example, fits easily with home decor (and startup offices that look more like idea salons than factories).
As for its features, HP described these as cloud based connectivity, app-based and voice activated. Translation: it (1) is wireless (2) works with a phone and (3) responds to Alexa, said Heater. You can print anywhere, whether from your kitchen or in the lobby of a convention center.
With the app, you can be notified when a print job is complete, ink and paper level info, or if your cover is closed. A LED light illuminates the paper tray when Tango is out of paper.
The price range is $149 to $199. There is the $149 Tango and $199 TangoX. What is the difference? The pricier X has the cover. HP listed the three cover choices as Indigo Linen, Charcoal Linen and Cork Currant. Apple or Google Play stores will have the app available for download.
The HP site offers details on both price and availability for the Tango and TangoX.
HP Tango device notes said that it uses both local Wi-Fi and cloud cell phone data connectivity for two-way connection with OEM app to control printer and get status; and offers voice printing support for Amazon Alexa, the Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana.
Writing in Digital Trends, Michael Archambault took note of the voice functionality. You can tell your voice assistant “that you need a specific type of form printed, and it will automatically communicate with your HP Tango.”
Harrel wrote about HP’s Tango X “smart printer,” and test results. So what was the verdict? He said, this was “the first we’ve tested with voice activation and smart home features,” and is all about printing from mobile devices. He said that “It’s not perfect, but given its unique free-snapshot printing angle, it will be a tough act for future models to follow.”